A student at a school in Keansburg whose comments threatening harm against other students were overheard by a security officer last week, lead to criminal charges.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccionni said the student didn't possess the ability to carry out the threat.

"We take all such threats very seriously. It is imperative that parents have regular conversations with their children about the importance of the words that they use and actions that their children take which could be construed as a threat to the safety of students and others," Gramiccioni said.

When asked why, the student said those classmates were "mean" to him.

There were no weapons present in the home, prosecutors say.

The student, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, is charged with third degree terroristic threats.

The incident remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and Keansburg and Middletown Police Departments.

The case will be handled in the juvenile system, but prosecutors say charges of third degree Terroristic Threats could result in jail time for the juvenile.

"Bullying is taken seriously by law enforcement, school officials, and parents. Should bullying acts rise to the level of a criminal offense, there could be criminal consequences for juveniles and adults," Gramiccioni said. "There must be a better way to treat fellow classmates and others without causing stress and anxiety. Bullying is wrong. We must find a way to better assist those who are bullied so that the bullying conduct ceases, and also for victims of bullying to learn how to seek help in a non-violent way."

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.

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